Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Calling woes

Hello everyone, I used to think that everyone really meant no one, but then I noticed that my entries actually have comments posted beneath them! Why has the technology train left me so far behind?? Anyway, that's beside the point. I need your help. As my nearest and dearest, I want you to be honest with me.

Ryan and I team teach the Gospel Doctrine class every other Sunday. You know how there's one calling at church where you say, "As long as I don't get that calling, I can do anything else." Well, Gospel Doctrine teacher was/is "that calling" for me. For the first time in my life, I verbally questioned my bishop to his face and asked him how he had come to that conclusion. It took me 3 weeks to agree to it and 3 more before I could start teaching.

I get very nervous when I teach, and it seems to be getting worse instead of better. The other thing that is difficult is when I ask a question, and it is promptly followed by a dead silence. I can hear crickets chirping under the chairs in the back. This would be okay if it were once in a while, but it happens A LOT.

So, from all of you (unfortunately, that means about 4 people), I would like to know what you like and don't like about Gospel Doctrine. Are there teaching styles you respond to better than others. What makes you want to fall asleep (other than 8 a.m. church, our current block)? I know you all will give me good advice, and I promise to put any and all suggestions to the test.


Bridget said...

I personally do not like the format where a teacher stands in front of the class and lectures/asks questions. I think that there are more interesting ways to interact.

1. You could try splitting up the class in groups of 4-6 people and ask a question. They discuss it and then each group can bring to the larger group a great thought or experience.

2. Incorporate music/video or other methods to spice things up a bit. Games are great, too. Think about your favorite teacher (in school or church) and list out some of the things they did to motivate the class. Then incorporate them.

3. There is a great resource manual at church for teaching. I think the title is Teaching: No Greater Call (it may be online, too). This book gives a lot of suggestions for positive interaction and teaching. Plan to use one method from this book each time you teach.

4. Know your students. Find out what people do for a living or if they have any areas of expertise. Then call on them by name if you want to hear one of their experiences and how it relates to the lesson. You could also prep them by calling them the week before church and asking for their thoughts. You could also send around a questionnaire that finds out more about them and what they hope to learn in the class.

5. Good luck and happy soul searching as you learn to confront your fears and EXCEL in your new calling. It's simply a matter of faith. (And remember that faith without works is dead...we also want to hear about your successes and setbacks in your journey.)

Colton, Whitney, and Andee said...

Hey Becky, I am kind of in the same boat. I got "the calling I never wanted"...relief society teacher. I get so nervous to talk in front of groups of people. So I unfortunately don't have any advice because I am also looking for some. However, my class isn't completely quiet, we have a lot of older ladies in RS and they are very opinionated, which is sometimes hard for me. So I will just wish you good luck and hopefully it will get better for you.
Whitney Christensen